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Monroe County school districts begin low-risk fall sports, but not RCSD

Patrick Moussignac
Updated: September 28, 2020 11:19 PM
Created: September 28, 2020 10:56 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Monday afternoon kicked off the first official day of try-outs, and practice for many high school fall sports here in Monroe County. These sports are considered low-risk by the state and were deemed safe enough to resume during this pandemic. 

For the first time since COVID-19 prematurely ended all high school sports last spring, student-athletes and their respective teams are back and getting ready to compete once again. Rush-Henrietta Senior High School fields and swimming pool were full of action.

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"I was counting down the days," boys' soccer player Jack Connelly said. "Little excited, little nervous. Always keeping myself busy over the quarantine to keep myself in shape and ready for this upcoming season playing hopefully JV, or varsity."

Only low-risk sports such as swimming, soccer, cross country, gymnastics and golf can start their season of play. Parents like Cynthia Bishop are happy their children are out of the house.

"I think that these kids have had everything taken away from them, and I really feel that they need to get out there. They need to play sports," Bishop said.

But while the suburban schools return to play, it's still a no-go for sports in the Rochester City School District. Parents like Karen Lombard-Bryce are upset that girls swimming is on hold until March.

"There is a city club team that actually my daughter used to swim on, and we have good friends that swim on that team, wonderful team that's practicing right now at a city rec center. So why can a city club team practice, but the city schools can't have a team. It doesn't make any sense," Lombard-Bryce said.

Her daughter Julia swims for the School of The Arts. March is the actual start of the boys' swimming season. By then all the other girls swim team seasons will long have ended. 

"It's my Junior year so colleges start to look at you. So not having a season really makes me sad because I won't get as many chances as everyone else to get discovered by colleges," Bryce said.

Carlos Cotto, Executive Director of RCSD Health, Physical Education and Athletics offered this comment:

"It is important for us, you know, to continue to assess these 10 weeks, and then be in a place where our students are provided with the same opportunities. Maybe at a different time, but at the same, still looking to provide them with those memorable experiences," Cotto said.

Teams will practice for the next two weeks. Opening day for many sports teams is on Saturday, Oct. 10.


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